tv Talk to Al Jazeera Al Jazeera January 24, 2015 7:00am-7:31am EST
suarez news. from washington, i'm ray suarez. today on "talk to al jazeera." the actor thafng ethan hawke. >> you can make of the truth what you will. we make big moments define our life. the romantic moments happen on a bus ride. you can't anticipate. >> the coming of divorce and being a father. >> i've been a child of divorce, i have been as a
parent. >> recognition in dead poets society, good kill in 2013 about drum warfare. >> we can assassinate people from anywhere in the world and it's not being policed. >> it's the movie "training day" for which hawke received his osk. in an attempt to keep hawke humble the actor's mother haste encouraged him to given back. >> she took me to haiti shortly after the duvalier administration. she thought i was going to be aspoiled brat. >> i had a chance to speak to ethan hawke with all of this. just as his film "boyhood" was being released. >> you play a father from his late teen years through when his family is going through divorce. tell me about this. you really have a personal
connection to something like this don't you? >> i definite do. the centers on one time in the american life that your life is on a grid, first grade through 12th grade, if you grew up in america that's the little graph that everybody gets put on. even if you get derailed from it, everything is in relationship to what grade you're in. so we were able to make this movie because all what we really had to do to anticipate 12 years was plan the parents' lives. in the kid's life it just happened effortlessly. meaning like every kid, they'll get dragged through their parents' lives. so mapping out the parents' divorce, mapping out their following relationships and how those relationships impact the kids, you know, it was a real pleasure for me to get to use
something that i know a lot about. i mean family, and i was a child ever divorce. i've been through one as a parent. >> you got divorced when your own daughter was five. >> my daughter was five. and so was i actually when my parents split up was five years old. and the movie starts at a kind of interesting moment i think, just starts when the boy is six. which is when a lot of us start remembering. we start having some awareness of ourselves and connecting of one day to the next. and previous to that your life is kind of a dream. you can -- you might remember something but it's much more impressionistic than it is -- i remember my first grade teacher, you know, that's where people start thinking. and the kids don't even remember their parents' divorce. the movie opens and finds it sort of happens. they're wondering about it all. richard linkletter and i who
made the film we both of went through, it was our experience and by the time i was conscious i had no memories of my parents being together. >> really? >> yes. >> do you think that's same case for your daughter? >> i know it is for my daughters and my -- daughter aand my son, yes. >> you said something good to come from exercising your demons. >> they teach it in prison and all kinds of therapy. whether it's painting or you know writing people throughout history have tried ouse to use creative expression to better understand themselves and the world around them. it would be a good thing to show divorced couples this movie. one of the things that's interesting to me about its is you really -- it is you really witness how both parents love
the kids and how that really is enough. parents do make bad decisions all the time and a lot of times when there is acrimony and pain and suffering, people are quick to point blame or it's really easy you know. you want it not to be your fault, you know? but just because somebody does something wrong, or drops the ball in some fashion, doesn't mean they're not capable of carrying the ball, you know? and i think it's really -- it can be a healing thing. >> now from what i understand, you had quite a hard time after your divorce. and you found salvation in the theater, is that correct? >> well, you use all these very dramatic words, you know salvation and demons, those aren't my words. the theater has always been my first love. it's how i discovered acting. and there's something about it that is humble, in a way that making movies is not humble.
you know? >> tell me about that. >> when i make a movie like "boyhood" for example i'm in partnership with richard linkletter and i'm trusting him to edit the performance the way it ideally should be done. what's awesome about doing macbeth or something really interesting on the stage is i'm in charge of the pacing for evening. if i think the audience should slow it down and hear it, i slow it down. if it's not that interesting i can rattle my way through it. it's really fun, like being a musician you know. >> and you've been able to take that theory to the before series. >> a couple that meets and follows them for another 18 years when they have children together. >> the before series and "boyhood" all my collaborations
with richard linkletter, he is extremely sin cinematic. they are not theatrical. they are oddly cinematic. that assumes a absolute minute minutiae, it's the little tiny moments we don't really pay attention to, we think big moments define our lives, the same way we anticipate new year's eve is going to be fun and it really isn't fun. the magic of a romantic life happens in a bus ride. you can't anticipate. >> tell mee me about "boyhood" and how it came to be. >> the aplaysing thing about
"boyhood" is it started about 13 years ago ago. training day had just come out. i had made i think my third movie with richard -- i had done three or four, i'd done four and he knew he wanted to make a movie about childhood and he knew there was a lie about childhood, that your childhood could be boiled to one moment. you know most movies they all kind of boil it down to the time you won the football game and dad told you he loved you or something and it all came together. childhood is more of a series of moments that come to feel like one, you know? and could we do that? like literature could. what if i found some great six-year-old kid, just entering first grade and we made a movie over 12 years, would you play the data? you know i realize he was offering me a job that no actor had ever been offered. he really wanted me to join and he asked me to make a portrait
of fatherhood. here i was i had a five-year-old or a four-year-old and a one-year-old at the time. fatherhood was the most important thing in my life. he was asking me to make a movie about the most important subject in my life. being a father and loving my own father and trying to understand that father-son relationship and this one. i knew he was asking me to so that, and this is incredibly unique. did i think it really would happen, probably not. we couldn't even sign contracts for this job, right? it's not legal to sign a kid up for something beyond seven years. you know? so -- or even grown up can't sign anything for even -- so this whole thing was this act of faith. all of us could quit at any time. it was just this home project. >> did you have any hesitations about it? >> none. i love richard
linkletter's movies and he's a great friend of mine and i believe in him and i knew that the movie would be special. i didn't know how special. until eler coltrane showed up. the young man who is the star of the film. he galvanizes the film. >> did you feel like a father figure? >> no, i felt like a friend. he has a father, he has a wonderful father. in casting eler, you kind of had to cast the parents. the parents are the beautiful people themselves. they gave eler the things he needed to survive the film. >> do you think there will be a sequel? >> i it will feel like they work as a trilogy and if there would be any more of them we would have to start work on -- you know it really deals with
romantic life, and what was the romantic life what would it be like for the second half of your life, you know? and we never -- it feels more closed than it ever has before. if you asked me before sunset there would be a third, i would have said i'm hell-bent that there is. i feel like the story might be finished had a way that i didn't -- you know if you watch all 30 before trilogies it covers 18 years. and what keeps surprising me is ds your body your eyesight goes and the spirit whatever the essence of who we are there is some continuity there. and i find that continuity really striking. and i think that depending on what you learn and how you
handle your experiences you either get better at letting that essence or that spirit, whatever that word is, you either get better, at letting it come out, or you get worse. you know? a lot of people as they get older, you know, get more confused and more lost or they're -- and then a lot of people get wonderfully eccentric more and more, i kind of love that. >> the new york times said of you last year mr. hawke retains his purchase of boyishness, but a little different 15 years later maybe because he knows who he is. do you feel -- >> that's true. i would never say i know who i am because you know as soon as i walked out of this room, you know, i would fall flat on my face. you can't know who you are because you don't know what's going to happen to you today. it's changing, it's always moving. the goal line is just always moving. so
i understand my place better than i did when i was younger. and i've accepted my deficiencies, you know, there's a funny quote about just because you're supposed to -- accept who you are doesn't mean you're not supposed to keep changing. you know, or you don't have to improve, you know. if my kids were here they would be the first to point out to you all the different ways in which i need improving and, you know the more i learn about acting the more i see my deficiencies. and that's kind of the wonderful thing about getting older and the torture of it. is when i was younger i would do some antic, i did a really good job. and i didn't really know all the ways in which i could have done better. i did well about what i knew how to do. the game keeps changing getting more involved, i know how to
make other people better, i didn't know how i was hurting my co-stars or how stories could be better. simultaneously i'm learning about how to do things, i have bills to pay, people rely on me, i have a credibility that i've gained that i don't want to lose, that creates fear, right? you know when you are younger who cares? you know i used to be so -- i'd go on stage i remember and i wouldn't be nervous at all and now i'm totally nervous. >> really? you mention that your 40s felt like your 30s and whether you were in your 30s you wanted to be in your 20s is that true? >> when i was in my 30s i felt like a really oold young old young person and i feel better, soon that will be a bad.
borderland. six strangers. >> let's just send them back to mexico. >> experience illegal immigration up close and personal. >> it's overwhelming to see this many people that have perished. >> lost lives are relived. >> all of these people shouldn't be dead. >> will there differences bring them together or tear them apart? >> the only way to find out is to see it yourselves. >> which side of the fence are you on? borderland, tomorrow at 9 eastern, only on al jazeera america. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> i'm christof putzel. my guest this week, the actor ethan hawke. >> right after you had your blackout l role in "he dead poets society" your mother encouraged you to get involved in a certain charity. >> well, i was very fortunate, you know i had a really amazing loving mother and loving father and loving brothers and sisters who looked after me. it's tough when you first experience celebrity.
because all of a sudden people want -- it changes people's relationship to you. girls in high school didn't think you were cute all of a sudden think you're cute. it is small obviously but it has other implications and one of them was i had a little bit of money in the bank. >> you were 18? >> yes i'd made i think $30,000 off of "dead poets society" and i was the richest person i knew. but my mother you know really quickly took my eye away from, you know, bietion things with buying things with it and being frivolous with it. in what ways i could see myself as a member of a community meaning what percentage of that did i think should be given away. was it really all to my credit that i got this job? wasn't there a large community that made that happen for me? >> it's a very humbling experience when you are 18. >> it sure is.
i mean i -- it just kind of old fashioned values, you know? and but -- you know, my mother now works in bucharest romania for gypsy rights. she took me to haiti shortly after the duvalier regime. she was an old fashioned do gooder el nora roosevelt type. >> are you still involved in that? >> after the haiti trip i got involved in the fund which is a tremendous success of getting men who are in prison and men who are hoaxless, if they are -- homeless if they are sober they can put their life back together and get you a bank account and
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